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Plant diversity assessment in limestone karsts in Laos and Vietnam

The flora of Indochina, including Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, is known as the Indo-Burma hotspot due to its high species richness and endemism, making it an important site for biodiversity and ecosystem conservation in Southeast Asia. However, a few studies of the flora in these countries are available, and the accumulation of botanical specimens is very small among Southeast Asian countries. Among them, the limestone area is known to have a unique ecosystem with a high percentage of plant species being endemic to this area and many species being in danger of extinction. Therefore, assessing plant diversity in limestone regions of Indochina is an urgent issue for biodiversity and ecosystem conservation.

The purpose of this project is to elucidate the diversity of plant species in the limestone regions of Laos and Vietnam. We collect plant distribution information through field surveys, prepare herbarium specimens to develop a database, train young researchers in plant taxonomy, and return results to the public.



Implementation Organisations (as of 10 April 2023)

Principal investigator

Dr. Shuichiro Tagane
Associate Professor, The Kagoshima University Museum


Japan Dr. N. Tanaka (National Science Museum, Tokyo)
+ one postdoctoral fellow
Laos Dr. P. Souladeth (Faculty of Forest, National University of Laos)
+ three researchers and one Ph.D. student
Vietnam Dr. V.S. Dang (Institute of Tropical Biology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology)
+ one researcher and two Ph.D. students


Project Updates

The survey was conducted in Laos from August 29th to September 12th, 2023. The outline of the field survey is as follows:

  • Duration of the field survey: September 1st to 7th, 2023.
  • Location: Forests along the Nam Aan River and limestone karst within the Nam Kading National Protected Area, near Viengthong town (Bolikhamxai Province), east of the capital Vientiane.
  • The details of the survey results will be reported later, but the summary at the moment is available here (PDF 556KB).


Project Reports & Deliverables

In preparation.


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Nagao Natural Environment Foundation
4-20-9 Midori, Sumida-ku
Tokyo 130-0021 Japan
Phone : +81-3-6659-2070
Fax : +81-3-6659-2272